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Three years ago, when oil prices plummeted and the global market began to contract, Pink Petro created the first global digital community for women in energy.


During times of crisis, our need for community becomes profound. Women and men were drawn to our mission to unite energy leaders around the world and bring an end to the gender gap in energy.


But Pink Petro quickly became more than just a platform to promote inclusion in energy. It became a trusted circle, a resource for critical news and insights on the energy transition, tech disruptions, policy and workforce shifts happening to shape the next era of our industry. It’s become a place to create a culture that’s powering our story into the social age, where everyone everywhere is connected.


Throughout history, communities have played a vital role in disseminating news and information. You relied on those close to you to keep you up to date on everything you needed to know. It was a matter of survival, not just curiosity.


But the model has always been flawed.


Did you ever play the game of telephone in school? If you did, you saw how the same information could change dramatically as it was passed from person to person.


There are also those who would manipulate the process of news dissemination for personal gain.  That particular flaw has come to light recently, as the concept of community as a reliable news source has come under fire. The prevalence of “fake news” circulating on various social media platforms has created a justified lack of trust. And the increasing polarization of major news media has left us wondering about tainted stories and underlying agendas.   


And this doesn’t mean communities are losing their outsized role in providing us with the news and information we want and need.  If anything, their power is growing.


In the world of energy, digital communities like Pink Petro are giving our industry a voice they’ve never had before. They are providing its people an opportunity to participate in that conversation and shape it.  At Pink Petro we believe it’s about promoting both genders with a focus on giving women a seat at the table, a voice on stage and online.  This gives the world outside the industry a chance to explore the opportunities energy has to offer.   


We also believe that orchestrating a balanced energy conversation, one that promotes a mix of resources drives the very thing we stand for: inclusion.  Inclusion of people, genders, generations, nationalities, ideas, technologies, and


In an industry now in fierce competition for talent with industries we power like tech, finance and healthcare, this is critical.   It’s also critical as our industry faces more increased scrutiny for the years we’ve done very little to own our value and story publicly.


There’s a trick, though. The big social media networks have grossly underestimated the importance of trust in building community. That’s why we’ve made trust core to what we do. We know our members — all 10,000+ of them — because they make Pink Petro what it is. If we don’t look out for them, we’re not doing our job: We connect people and give them a voice; but we also inform and educate.


That’s a big job — just like the old days, only with a lot more technology.


The insights and conversations at World Gas Conference are vital to the growth of the industry. But they don’t stop at events nor do they need to be closed to our industry.  They need to continue where consumers and the next generations are hungry for information: online and in trusted communities.   


I hope you’ll join us online on social media and on our Pink Petro members only app.   The time is overdue.  It’s time we own the story in the relationship and social era, drive ongoing insights, and articulate our value to society.


To download the PDF of this post in the World Gas Daily by Upstreamonline, click here and navigate to page 16.


When I launched Experience Energy in 2017, Pink Petro's sister company,  we created the GRIT Awards.  We knew we were entering a crowded space. There are awards and honors for everything these days. Did we really need another one?


The short answer is, no. We don’t need another ceremony at another banquet hall with the same stuffy program and awful rubber chicken meal.


We created the GRIT Awards — an opportunity to showcase the difference-makers in energy. The women doing the heads-down, game-changing work of shepherding this industry into the future, and the men who support them. And it needed a way to celebrate them not just in person with one heck of a party, but digitallyallowing their stories to spread and inspire.


The truth is, we are putting a human face and voice on an industry that so many don’t understand.  From oil and natural gas, LNG to wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear, we power modern conveniences and that's nothing short of amazing.


Experience Energy is bringing the GRIT Awards back this fall, to honor a new class of energy leaders. You can nominate women and men, corporate leaders and energy entrepreneurs, individual contributors and teams from companies large and small, universities, and startups. ConocoPhillips had three finalists and we awarded winners from associations, teams at BP and Anadarko, all while 74,00 watched online.  


We've now extended our nomination deadline until July 20.


We’ve also booked two amazing keynote speakers to be held Oct. 3 in Houston and live online:

  • Geeta Thakorlal, president, INTECSEA, a Worley Parsons company
  • Crystal Washington, futurist, technology strategist, techie and author


We can’t wait to see you all there, and to meet our next class of gritty leaders. You can nominate, sponsor, or attend — in person or online.  


Everyone needs to know about the industry and people who power our society. Thanks for all you do to help the world, experience energy.



OPEC and the oil market consensus

This Thursday, OPEC Russia cooperation seemed to become more durable when a preliminary decision of the Russia OPEC monitoring committee, to support the Russian proposal to increase production by 1 million bpd for discussion at the broader OPEC meeting on Friday, 22 June 2018.

This seems to reflect the oil market consensus that the growing demand for oil will absorb the increased production. The Brent oil price remains in the range of USD75 per barrel, comfortable for both producers and the consumers


HERWorld 2018 - diverse group photoWe’re hearing it everywhere these days: Energy may have suffered in recent years, but now, energy is back.


At Pink Petro, we disagree, and I’ll tell you why: While there’s no denying oil prices are rising and the industry is once again in growth mode, energy has not returned to business as usual. It can’t — because the world we live in now demands a deeper commitment to inclusion and culture.


That’s why we’re seeing a surge in activity on our sister site, Experience Energy, a destination for companies looking for diverse talent, and individuals looking for inclusive companies.


I joined the Pink Petro team to help manage the influx of great opportunities and great people. I’ve worked in energy recruiting for more than a decade. I know the industry’s past. I also know the future is taking shape.


It’s an exciting time for energy, but it’s also a time of profound change. The good news? You don’t have to navigate it alone. We’re here to share our insights, experience and information to help companies navigate a new normal in the world of recruitment, and to help individuals position themselves for the best jobs on the market.


HERWorld 2018 - diverse group photoEven more good news? You won’t just hear from me. Each month, we host Coach’s Corner, an in-depth conversation with experts in talent and career development. This month, for instance, you heard from Tamara Anderson, manager of talent acquisition at Cheniere Energy, who talked through strategies to build your career and to stand out from the competition. Coach’s Corner is a free benefit of Pink Petro membership.


Why does content like this matter in today’s world? Because the new T’s & C’s in energy are talent and culture. The workforce of tomorrow is multigenerational. Diversity is a business imperative. And industry giants are now competing for talent with fast-moving, tech-forward startups.


A big name is no longer enough to attract the people your business wants and needs. You’ve got to show them you’re committed to your people.


Part of that commitment is investing in the hiring process.


HERWorld 2018 - diverse group photoWe know energy companies get it because it was energy companies that asked us to create Experience Energy — a place that would help them build strong, nimble, inclusive teams, and not just in oil and gas. They wanted a careers platform that served the entire energy value chain. They asked, and we delivered.


Now, the next step is on you.


Are you interested in a new career opportunity with forward-thinking, exciting energy companies? Fill out a profile on Experience Energy. We can connect you with amazing companies who put people first.


Are you one of those companies? Post your available jobs to Experience Energy, and tap into the most diverse network of talent in the industry.


Whatever your needs, I’m here to help. I’ll be offering career tips regularly to share what I’ve learned over the course of my career in the industry — starting today. One of the best things you can do for your career is increase your visibility. Nominate yourself for an award. Apply for a speaking opportunity. Go for a promotion. Raise your hand in a meeting. Don’t know where to begin? Nominate yourself or someone you know for the Experience Energy GRIT Awards. Nominations are open until July 20!


The industry is rallying, for sure, but it’s not going back. We are moving forward, and Experience Energy can help.

Halliburton, a valued Pink Petro community sponsor and corporate member, is publishing a series of videos across social media as part of a campaign to highlight the impressive women in its ranks. 


This week, we meet Kimberly Meritt, a continuous improvement and quality supervisor at Halliburton. In the video, Kimberly highlights the safety-focused culture at Halliburton, as well as the diversity. “The culture of Halliburton is extremely diverse,” she says. “There are people from every ethnicity. We have both women and men. And that’s something that, as an employee, is important to me.”



For more on how you can join the team at Halliburton, explore open opportunities at Experience Energy

The KPMG Global Energy Institute is pleased to announce the release of the European Power & Utilities Report – Q1 2018.


This ongoing report on the European Power & Utilities sector is released at the end of each quarter and offers a single-source summary of the following pressing industry topics:



Price and margins


Regulatory news and resources


Capital markets


M&A activity


KPMG Global Energy Institute (GEI)

To register for KPMG's Global Energy Institute enabling you to automatically receive future content, as well as invitations to upcoming industry webcasts, please contact us at

For further information about this report, please click here.

Jay CopanThis week on Profiles in GRIT, we are excited to feature Jay Copan. Jay is the executive director of the World Gas Conference (WGC) 2018, happening June 25-29 in Washington D.C


WGC is the world’s largest gas industry event.  It attracts 10-12,000 attendees from 100 different countries.  WGC only occurs once every three years and moves around the globe.  The last time it was held in the USA was in 1988. It will be decades before it returns again to this country. We’ll be there. Will you? (Check out the Pink Petro guide to #WGC2018 here.)


Jay is also the special advisor to the president of the International Gas Union, a global association representing the gas industries of 91 countries. 


PINK PETRO: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it? 


JAY COPAN: The American Gas Association/USA gas industry was bidding (in an Olympics-style competition) against both the State of Qatar and South Korea to win the right to assume the presidency of the International Gas Union, and then host the World Gas Conference in 2018.


In a word, the competition was a huge challenge.  Korea had one of the most sought-after gas markets in the world and billions of dollars.  Qatar had mega-billions of dollars and the largest LNG exporting facility in the world.  The entire United States gas industry (upstream through downstream) was represented by an aging, retired guy who worked for AGA, a nonprofit downstream organization with no commercial relationships — and nowhere near the funding of South Korea or Qatar.  


That said, this aging, retired guy — a born optimist — was too enthusiastic to realize he had no chance to win, and therefore plowed ahead. 


Using organizational and team-building skills, relationships, decades of knowledge of the global gas industry, and a clear vision for the future of the global gas industry, my team was able to overcome this tremendous challenge. We won the competition and secured the United States as the World Gas Conference’s host country for the first time in 30 years. Plus, it was in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Gas Association!


PP: What’s one mistake you made and what did you learn from it?


JC: Very early in our marriage, my wife, Maureen, had to go out of town for a long weekend, leaving me to take care of our two very young daughters.  During that weekend, I got caught up in a variety of activities. When Maureen returned home to a sink full of dirty dishes and dirty laundry everywhere, I was subjected to a lengthy, one-way discussion about personal responsibility.


I learned a lot of lessons that have stuck with me ever since:  the value and importance of teamwork, partnerships, shared responsibilities, time management and accountability to your team.  Forty-three years later — and still married to Maureen — I remember what I learned after that weekend and have tried to incorporate those lessons into everything I do, both in professional and personal settings.


PP: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?


JC: Having spent the bulk of my career with the American Gas Association, it has been most rewarding to provide the 200 member companies and their thousands of employees with a quantifiable financial return on their investment in this nonprofit organization. 


This is truly unheard of for most, if not all, associations.  Through our association-unique financial outreach programs, including the AGA Financial Forum, we have brought together members of the financial community with representatives of the AGA publicly traded companies to help AGA companies raise capital in a least-cost, most efficient manner. 


Over the years, many AGA member companies have suggested that a primary reason for their membership in AGA has been the return on investment they receive from participation in the association’s financial outreach programs.


PP: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?


JC: My father, Jim Copan, a member of the “Greatest Generation.”  He was a World War II vet who fought in the Pacific theater, where he was awarded a Bronze Star for an “act of valor in combat.” Born in Canada, he moved to America at a very young age. He volunteered to fight for his country. He fought in the Philippines, where he was one of two survivors in his 200-soldier company. 


He returned to the United States to live the “American Dream.”  He got married, bought a home and had a successful career in which — just like during his WWII service — he was always under the radar, always working in the trenches and never complaining despite the many challenges he faced. What a blessing to have such a wonderful role model. In Jim’s world, the sun was always shining!


Carol Battershell We’ve got some news in the world of high-ranking women in energy: Carol Battershell, principal deputy director in the Office of Policy at the Department of Energy, is taking early retirement from the federal government. Her last day in the office was Friday, June 15.


“I am proud to have been a public servant and been able to contribute to many important and significant initiatives over my 10 years at DOE,” Carol said in a statement. “I am also thrilled about my next phase.”


Carol will be moving back to her home state of Ohio, to a new house that “views a protected wetlands and a wide river where bald eagles fly by.” However she is seeking to augment her more relaxed pace of life with director roles on boards for public energy companies.


Carol, a speaker this year at HERWorld Energy Forum, has spent 35 years in energy, beginning as an environmental engineer in a refinery in Ohio and then working her way through various roles in conventional and alternative energy. She was drawn to her work in the DOE for the opportunity to marry industry expertise and policy work.


“I saw how companies could be hurt by the lack of regulatory certainty and absence of policies that really understood the industry,” Carol told us back in March.


During her time at the DOE, she led multibillion-dollar technical programs. She ran the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy field operations office, which at its peak was responsible for approximately $7 billion in grants, research and construction. She was also a key contributor on two multi-agency policy reviews, The Quadrennial Energy Reviews.


And she’s been a champion for women at each step of the way: She is an ambassador in the C3E women in energy organization, and watch for announcements coming soon about other volunteer efforts with Pink Petro.


“I am excited about the progress I have seen over my 35-year career in energy. There are many more women in the energy field, which shows an improvement. And just the presence of more women, for me, improves the work environment,” Carol says. “An area I see for further progress is bringing more men into helping and seeing that issues like diversity and work-life balance are important for them, too.”


Congrats to Carol for all you have accomplished, and all you will do in your next chapter!


Click here to read our full interview with Carol from earlier this year.

Halliburton, a valued Pink Petro community sponsor and corporate member, is publishing a series of videos across social media as part of a campaign to highlight the impressive women in it's ranks. 


This week, we meet Jessie Liu, a research scientist at Halliburton, who talks about innovation at Halliburton and how passion for your field is key to a successful career. “Find your own passion in this field. Identify your power and apply them,” she says.



For more on how you can join the team at Halliburton, explore open opportunities at Experience Energy

WGC infographicThe World Gas Conference is happening in Washington, D.C. The event, which takes place every three years, unites some of the brightest minds in the entire energy value chain. We'll be there, and we hope you will be, too!


Here’s a look ahead at some of the panels and keynotes we’re looking forward to next week. Make sure you follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram throughout the week, and join the conversation live in our members-only app. (Not on the app? Click here to join today!) It’s a time for big ideas and, we’ll have all the latest.


Tuesday, June 26:


8:30 a.m.Kimberly J. Harris, chair of the board of directors, American Gas Association, and president and CEO of Puget Sound Energy, is one of several keynotes speakers who will kick off the main event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.


In an interview with Pink Petro a few weeks back, we asked Kimberly what’s she looking forward to at #WGC2018.


Emissions are at their lowest levels in decades, and Americans enjoy affordable, reliable and safe energy. This is due largely to our domestic abundance of natural gas and an industry dedicated to delivering it in a way that earns the confidence of customers and policymakers. Other nations are looking to learn from our example,” she explained. “I am looking forward to those conversations, sharing our best practices with the world and learning from the natural gas companies in other nations.” (Read our full story on Kimberly here.)


Colette Honorable11 a.m. — Expanding the World’s Natural Gas Pipeline and Distribution Networks


Colette Honorable, a former FERC commissioner and now partner in the Energy and Natural Resources Group at Reed Smith LLP, will moderate this conversation on the role of pipelines in the future of the international gas trade. The conversation will touch on what lessons can be learned from recent projects, what business models will have the biggest impact on gas network growth and what technologies will contribute to securing, integrating and optimizing gas systems from an efficiency, environmental and safety standpoint. (Read our full profile on Colette here.)


Also on the panel:  

  • Tatiana Mitrova, director, Energy Center, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO
  • Shelley Moore Capito, of West Virginia


4:30 p.m. — Power Play, Exxon Mobil Corporation's signature industry event for women 


Power Play’ is both a professional networking opportunity and a celebration of the critical role women play throughout the gas and power industry. ExxonMobil is committed to connecting more women to colleagues and leaders in the industry, helping drive improved business results and enhancing diversity in the workplace. Overcoming complexity in the natural gas and power value chain to secure mutually beneficial solutions requires creativity, innovation and close collaboration – making our professional connections all the more essential.


Registration is required to attend, and last we heard, seats are still available! Click here to register. 


Wednesday, June 27:


10:20 a.m. — Inclusion Drives Innovation: Promoting Women and Diversity


Katie Mehnert, founder and CEO of Pink Petro and Experience Energy, will join this session exploring how organizations can be more effective in promoting women and diversity in the workforce. The panel will also delve into what it takes to become a leader in this industry and offer perspectives on gender diversity from industry leaders around the world.


Also on the panel:

  • Yetunde Bajela-Taiwo, head of gas business, SEPLAT
  • Hilary Mercer, vice president, Pennsylvania Chemicals, Shell
  • Paula Glover, president and CEO, American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)


2:25 p.m. — The Future of Europe’s Energy Market


Coby van der Linde, the director of Clingendael International Energy Program, will moderate this conversation, which will focus on the development and implications of the Energy Package, the role of gas in the future European energy mix, building a long-term partnership with renewables and more.


Also on the panel:

  • Annie Krist, CEO, GasTerra


Thursday, June 28:


8:30 a.m. —  Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska will offer the opening keynote address, kicking off the conference’s first event of the day: Access to Sustainable Energy in Developing Economies.


Rachel Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All and special representative of the UN Secretary-General, joins that panel to delve into defining energy poverty and discussing why it matters, the role of economic development and ensuring affordable energy is environmentally sustainable and safe.  


10:20 a.m. — Strategies to Address Methane Emissions and Improve Our Environmental Footprint


Pratima RangarajanDr. Pratima Rangarajan joins this panel focused on what action is being taken across the value chain to improve the industry’s environmental footprint. The conversation will also touch on successful strategies to address methane emissions and which technologies are being used most effectively to quantify and reduce methane emissions. (Read our profile on Pratima, a speaker at HERWorld18 back in March, here.)


Also on the panel:

  • Jennifer Stewart, SVP of government & regulatory affairs, Southwestern Energy


Friday, June 29:


8:30 a.m. — Innovation to Drive the Energy Industry Forward


Barbara Humpton, USA CEO for Siemens Corporation, joins this panel focused on the future of energy and how innovative technologies, business models and operating practices can shape the future.

Katherine BeemanThis week in our series Profiles in GRIT, we are talking to Katherine Beeman, the executive director of The West Texas Energy Consortium.


The West Texas Energy Consortium (WTxEC) was created in 2013 in response to the region's need for a skilled workforce and community development. WTxEC is the first in Texas to develop a regional approach to solving a workforce problem in a major Texas enterprise area.


Katherine was honored with a GRIT Award at our ceremony back in March, and we love her advice to other women who may find themselves struggling in a male-dominated environment: “People will question your words, but they can’t doubt your actions. Don’t tell them you can do it; show them you can do it — and do it well.”


Read more from our interview with Katherine below.


PINK PETRO: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?


KATHERINE: My professional challenges are that I am a petite, good-natured female in a male-dominated industry. A lot of times I’ve been underestimated. Folks would placate me with smiles, but not really believe I could do the task. In my early 20s, I resented it and would get so frustrated. I quickly learned that, due to my competitive nature and “I’ll show them” attitude, I would dig in, learn more and work harder than my counterparts in order to get the job done. After many years of success and failures, I use this “challenge” to my benefit. There will always be those who underestimate you. The key is to do the job anyway. Learn, ask questions, observe, and then knock it out of the ballpark.


PP: What’s one mistake you made, and what did you learn from it?


KS: Going off of an upper-level manager’s word rather than observing and following my gut feeling about an employee situation. My young, naïve brain thought, “This guy is older than I am and has been here much longer, so he must know what he is talking about, right?” Intuition and a brief observation said he was wrong, but I was afraid to speak up and someone lost their job because of it. I have never made that mistake again. 


PP: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?


KS: The opportunity to meet new people and work in a wide-range of industries. Plus, the diversity of what I do is absolutely rewarding. I can go home after working all day and feel absolutely exhausted. Yet, I get up the next morning and still love what I do. I may be tired, but I never get up hating my job or counting how many sick days I have available. The people and the passion for what we do in the energy industry are so exciting to be around.


PP: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?


KS: Hands down I would have to say my grandmother, as she was a woman of pluck, grit and pure determination. She was born in 1924 at the end of World War I. Her father died some years later after returning from WWI, which left her mother with eight kids to raise. My grandmother along with her siblings went to school, grew crops for trade, gardened and took care of the few farm animals they had for food. They also sewed all their own clothes, and she put herself through nursing school while helping at home.

She entered WWII right after nursing school, married after the war, raised five kids of her own, worked full-time, gardened, sewed, went to church and volunteered regularly. I asked her once how she could do all of this and not get tired or give up. She smiled and said, “Maybe the good Lord didn’t give me the smarts to know there was an option to fail.” Granddaddy looked at her and said, “No Edith, you are just too stubborn to ever let life beat you.”


My grandmother worked harder and gave more of herself than anyone I have ever met. She worked hard in a man’s world but never forgot her Southern grace and ladylike behavior. She was always quick with a story, could make you laugh, and you always left her side feeling much better. She saved lives but didn’t expect a ticker tape parade for her efforts. Her work ethic, smarts, sense of being and spirit made her unbreakable.

It’s been just over a year now since I participated in the “Surviving the Downturn” panel discussions at Pink Petro’s HerWorld17 and it’s taken all this time to get to the point where I can honestly say I have finally survived the downturn!


After a 35-year career of being a contract geologist and never being out of work for more than a couple of months between contracts in all that time, I was starting to give up hope that I would ever get the chance to return to my life-long vocation. I tried to stay positive and believe the recovery was inevitable…it was just a matter of “hanging in” there…but hope waned and one day I had a stark realization that I may never be a “geo” again. The thought hit me like a freight train, and after nearly 2 years of being in denial that such a thing could possibly happen, I had to admit to myself that this was now becoming a real possibility.


Stacked rigs


I have to admit I feel guilty writing about this but too relieved, excited and ecstatic at resuming work as a geologist not to. Guilty because I know there are so many of my colleagues who are still struggling to find work and my writing about finally having a job makes me feel like I’m bragging; it’s almost like a slap in the face to them…I know, I felt that same blow when I’d read someone else’s social media post when they had finally started working again…when my career felt like it was on the edge of a cliff, never knowing if it was going to free-fall off it to an untimely death.


Sadly, many of my peers will face this exact demise and will never recover from this downturn. Surely no other industry in the world is as ruthlessly cyclical as the resource industry. Booms and busts that shuffle hundreds of thousands of dedicated workers in and out of employment at the whim of geopolitical and economic events. As night follows day, so does a bust follow a boom, and in an exponentially faster time than what the boom took to build up.


Everyone who works in the industry is vulnerable, no matter how far up the food chain you are, whether you are a permanent employee, third-party contractor or independent consultant. For the most part, it seems it all depends on where you are sitting when the music stops. If you are working in exploration then you can expect to be the first to go.


While I never expected the downturn to be as protracted as it has turned out to be (and I acknowledge that it’s still continuing today for many people), there were things that I did to help maintain my positivity and optimism for the hopeful resumption of my career. With hindsight I can now appreciate the sometimes small, sometimes big actions I took to keep myself busy, productive and most of all, progressing towards a hopeful outcome.


Here are the five most important actions that I consider cannot only keep you “in the game” when you’ve been sidelined, but are great ideas for improving your game once you are even in it!


1) Explore your creative side and stay connected


I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Everyone has a book in them”…well I truly believe this to be the case. Everyone has a story to tell and whether it’s a best seller or not, you will have created something from nothing. You will have successfully shared your knowledge and wisdom with the world and given yourself an ego boost knowing that you are now officially a published author!


While the downturn didn’t spark the beginning of my writing career (I had already written and published a book a couple of years before) it gave me the time to expand on it.


I knew when the drilling campaign I was working on as a contractor finished in January of 2016 that we were already twelve months into the downturn and things were only going to get worse before they got better. I also knew that no matter how good a wellsite geologist I was, there was next-to-no chance of getting more work in the months ahead. If there are no drilling campaigns then there’s no requirement for wellsite geologists…period. With this in mind, I made every effort from the onset to stay connected, increase my professional network and share my experience with other like-minded professionals within the industry.


The idea of writing a book about my career was a means to keep my brain active, highlight my professional skills and demonstrate the depth of my career as a site-based geologist. I knew that publishing relevant and informative information was a great way to staying connected and at the same time, hopefully providing others with some interesting reading material.


I enjoyed the writing process so much that I soon wrote a second book about working offshore, in which I shared my experiences and also tried to provide useful information for the next generation of offshore workers.


It’s easy to sit back and think “so many people know so much more about a certain topic than me”, which may be true, but it’s also just as true that so many people know a lot less about the topic than you. No matter how little you think you may know about something,



"there will always be someone else who knows less than you

and would love to know what you know!"



2) What happens to you in life isn’t “what’s meant to be” but “what you make it to be.”


Every single decision we make and action we take changes the course of what we are making our life to be. Unfortunately we can’t take back actions once we have done them so sometimes shit is going to happen that you don’t want to happen. That’s not because it was meant to be…it’s because of the action you took!


Actions you take during a downturn are just as important to the success of your career as actions you take when you are gainfully employed. Blaming the industry, the O&G company operators, the old-boys club, the millennials, or even that person from years ago who has always had it in for you, isn’t going to help you get a job.


You have to accept the situation for what it is and do what you can to review, re-evaluate, re-educate, and re-establish yourself as the professional you are. Feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to set you up on a solid foundation from which to spring yourself back into your career when an opening presents itself.


If you find you are struggling then read as many books as you can on staying positive and focused. There’s heaps of them out there and if you haven’t already adapted to reading eBooks instead of expensive printed versions then it’s time to download the kindle app and get started! 

Motivational books




Don’t know what to read? Do a Google search for motivational books and you can be downloading and reading them within minutes on your smart phone.




3) “If you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with.”


The chorus of that old Crosby, Stills and Nash song rings true not only for people but also for jobs. It was only by being an unemployed geologist that I found out that I’m a bloody good Uber driver! If you can’t devote all of your passion to the career you really want, then find another outlet for it. Never settle for less professionalism in any job you do just because it may not be your first preference. And if you can’t find any job at all to expend your passion, then give it away for free as a volunteer.



4) Channel Your Inner Millennial and Rediscover YouTube


Remember when you used to be gainfully employed and there were those few things that always brought out that niggling sense of imposter syndrome? Things that you never felt 100% proficient in but managed to wing your way through anyway?


A period of unemployment is the perfect time to hone in on those skills that you think you need to better develop, and the best (and cheapest!) way of doing this is to search for the topic on YouTube and you can bet someone has created an instructional video to help you out.


I used to think YouTube was just for young people who were happy to waste countless hours watching ridiculous stunts but since teaching myself how to publish a book on Amazon to honing in on my skills of interpreting well logs, I now have a whole new appreciation for the power of this amazing resource.


5) Healthy Body = Healthy Mind and Healthy Spirit


It probably comes as no surprise to people who know me that staying active would be a necessary part of my coping strategy. Exercise has always been an essential part of my life and being unemployed definitely wasn’t going to change that. In fact, it became more important than ever to maintain the one thing that I have full control over – my fitness.


During a downturn there are many things that are out of your control, like how many rigs are going to be working, what the price of oil is going to do from one day to the next or if the agencies you are registered with are going to win the few job tender processes that are on offer.


But the one thing that you have total control over is what you put in your mouth and what exercise you do on a daily basis. Staying fit and healthy is paramount to maintaining a positive attitude and showing everyone that you are ready and able to take on any challenges that present themselves.


One of the biggest side effects of being unemployed is the lack of structure and routine it creates on a daily basis. The human body craves routine! Nothing destroys the human psyche more than not having a reason to get out of bed in the morning. A consistent daily routine lays the foundation for essential hormonal functioning that creates the very moods that enable us to stay positive.


Your physical wellbeing is intimately linked with your psychological state of mind. Whether you’re smashing out a super-set in the gym or shaving seconds off your 5km PR time, you are creating an accomplishment that no one can take away from you. Doing just one extra repetition on the last set of an exercise, or cutting 1 second off your previous best run time is an achievement worth celebrating. You are now faster or stronger than you were yesterday!


Don’t ever think “that’s only 1 second faster so it hardly counts”. Your mind functions in exactly the same way as that of an Olympic athlete and world records are created by being just 1/100”s of a second faster than the previous world record holder. Be jubilant in even the tiniest of improvements because over time, many small achievements add up to a much bigger one. Don’t ever compare your athletic progression to anyone else’s but your own (unless you are an Olympic athlete!) because how better the current “you” is, compared to the old “you”, is all that should matter.


Use your extra time at home to develop healthy eating habits and a structured training plan so if nothing else in your life seems to be going to plan at least you’re not having to spend money on doctors bills and medication!



Did I learn Anything From The Downturn?


Absolutely! Here are the biggest takeaways from the downturn for me:


  • Always expect a long slow build up to a boom to eventually come crashing down when you least expect it.
  • Don’t spend like you’re always going to be on this day-rate before the crash comes.
  • Know that your colleagues are going to be your competitors in a downturn so expect professional friendships to be tense and most probably uncomfortable.
  • Think seriously about developing an alternative backup career or a stream of passive income should your current one come to a grinding halt.




book coversAmanda Barlow is a wellsite geologist in the oil and gas industry and also a published author of "Offshore Oil and Gas PEOPLE - Overview of Offshore Drilling Operations"and “An Inconvenient Life – My Unconventional Career as a Wellsite Geologist”. You can connect with Amanda through the Pink Petro community and LinkedIn:

KPMG Global Energy Conference - #MeTooOnce again, the KPMG Global Energy Conference did not disappoint.  

Before the conference kicked off, the women in energy breakfast got things going with a topic we’ve all heard a lot about: # MeToo.

The session included a panel of experts, including Betsey Bagley with Catalyst Inc.; Stephanie Cox, VP of human resources with Schlumberger; and Tom Wilson, a labor and employment partner with Vinson & Elkins.


Some key takeaways:

  • 62 percent of women in the room reported having experienced a #MeToo moment. 
  • Much like where we were with safety in the past two decades, #MeToo is now seen as a culture change long needed to provide a workplace where we feel not just physically safe but psychologically safe. 
  • Men are disengaging, and that’s having an impact on women having fewer opportunities.  In some cases, men are afraid to interact at all.


KPMG Global Energy Conference - market confidence Energy Markets and its impact on the Global Economy

The opening session, “Energy Markets and its Impact on the Global Economy,” centered on the face that there’s more confidence in the market this year than in the past few years.  Ninety percent of CEOs are confident in their company’s growth prospects, and 67% are confident in the growth of the global economy.  


Some key takeaways:

  • The balance of power has shifted in the past 20 years.
  • Over the next two decades, Asia will make up two-thirds of the world’s energy demand.
  • Renewables are at a tipping point and the energy mix will be very different a decade from now.
  • Gains in energy efficiency will have a positive impact on the economy.
  • But political and policy uncertainty are the top risks.


KPMG Global energy Conference - oil pricesOil prices

It wouldn’t be an energy conference without asking the perennial question: How high do you think prices will be by year end?

Most of the room said they expect an oil price between $70-80 by the end of 2018, while 18 percent see a price between $80-90.

However, it was recognized pretty fairly across the board that geopolitics are impacting our industry and that business leaders don’t see an end to policy shift in sight — at least in the USA — and that the way we are managing key issues are “policy by tweet”.


(It’s next to impossible to attend anything these days without hearing about Trump. But this year was pretty tame compared to last year’s luncheon where Former Speaker John Boehner called Trump a disaster and the media went nuts.)


KPMG Global Energy Conference - Soledad O'BrienSpeaking of media, media sensation Soledad O’Brien told us something we all know, but that we all need to hear: Energy needs to tell its story. Read our interview with Soledad here. (Interesting fact about Soledad...she’s 1 of 6 kids who attended Harvard. Now that’s a college bill!)


Disruptive technology 

Next, the conversation shifted to tech and innovation — two of my favorite topics.  


It was clear to everyone in the room that the industry is slow to move in this space. But it’s complicated: Moving to new fuels isn’t about capital but about getting people to take risks on unproven technology. That’s no small feat.


But it can, and will, happen. We got a glimpse at what it looks like when the industry embraces digital from Morag Watson, CIO at BP, who spoke about augmented reality, artificial intelligence, quantum tech and block chain — all things that BP is looking at.  


That said, accelerating the journey to innovation is going to take a lot of cooperation between the public, and governments. That was a key takeaway from the session hosted by the World Economic Forum. Countries are on different journeys, which is what’s making it challenging to match motivations and harmonize people towards a solution.


Every year we look forward to being a part of this conference. KPMG is a sponsor of Pink Petro and provides great thought capital to enrich the lives and careers of all our members. We hope you’ll check out their perspectives. We’re proud to have them as a part of our community!

KPMG in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) is pleased to announce the launch of a white paper titled: Accelerating Sustainable Energy Innovation.

Energy consumption and production activities account for two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions. As such, the energy sector offers the greatest potential for climate change mitigation and for future growth and prosperity. Meeting the climate change challenge in a faster time frame requires innovation breakthrough across multiple energy technology areas.

The Accelerating Sustainable Energy Innovation white paper identifies the need for a systemic approach for energy innovation as well as the global catalysts across various stages and technologies. This white paper proposes several bold ideas targeting regulatory frameworks and financial mechanisms that have the potential of achieving a step change in the pace of sustainable energy innovation designed to inspire decision-makers and spark discussions about future actions required.

Click here to read more about the bold ideas identified in the white paper which can better prepare you to engage in conversations about the future of sustainable energy including the topics below:



Climate change and the need to accelerate sustainable energy innovation.

Defining the energy innovation system.

Making the difference: Aligning catalysts for accelerating energy innovation.

Opportunities for step-changes to accelerate sustainable energy innovation.


KPMG in collaboration with the World Economic Forum has developed the Accelerating Sustainable Energy Innovation white paper to identify and promote actions that the global community can take to accelerate the pace of innovation in sustainable energy and, in parallel, serve as a platform for public/private collaboration among stakeholders from business, government, civil society and selected innovation alliances who share a vision for a sustainable future.

As part of the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Energy, this white paper is based on preliminary insights gathered from more than 30 interviews with World Economic Forum constituents, backed by additional research and input from a variety of sources.


KPMG Global Energy Institute (GEI)

To register for KPMG's Global Energy Institute enabling you to automatically receive future content, as well as invitations to upcoming industry webcasts, please contact us at


Souzi WeilandThis week in our series Profiles in GRIT, we’d like you to meet Souzi Weiland, the manager of learning and organization development at Southwestern Energy (SWN), the third largest producer of natural gas in the lower 48 states.


Souzi’s career is a study in perseverance. She’s successfully navigated a significant career transition — from accounting to human resources — and faced the challenge with passion and strength.


“That is how I define grit: the ability to persevere in the long term to reach a goal. It is having stamina despite the bumps along the way,” she says.


Read below for more on Souzi. (Know someone like Souzi? Nominate her — or him — for a GRIT Award! Nominations open now until June 30.)


PINK PETRO: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?


SOUZI: In my mid-20s, I accepted a job offer as a gas marketing accountant at a midstream company. Little did I know that the manager I reported to would try to stifle my personality and curiosity — making for the most difficult year in my career. This experience sparked a new passion inside me to help develop leaders. I did not want anyone else to be demoralized like I was.


I embarked on a journey to get my master’s degree in human resources development, attending school full-time while working full-time. Making a career move from accounting to human resources was more challenging than I anticipated. I was a senior-level accountant in the oil/gas industry with slim to no HR experience so I worked to build great relationships with talent management professionals throughout the industry.  I value connecting with others more than networking, and those mentors offered me great advice and tried to help me find opportunities in the leadership and organization development (L&OD) world. I applied for and interviewed for many roles, but my lack of HR experience continued to be a problem, so I pursued pro bono projects for consultants who mentored me in grad school to gain more experience.


The offers I did receive required a significant pay cut. I remember expressing concern over pay to one hiring manager who offered me an entry-level role. “Taking a pay cut is the only way you will get your start in HR or L&OD within the energy industry. If it’s your passion, pay shouldn’t be an issue,” he responded. When I respectfully declined, he laughed and said, “Good luck making a career change within oil/gas, little lady.”  


I struggled with this, but the struggle wasn’t regarding the money or that his words were completely inappropriate. Rather, it was that accepting a pay cut was devaluing my skill set. I believed strongly that my accounting experience and business acumen would be of great value to any HR role.


The power of passion and perseverance allowed me to stay the course because I wanted the future I envisioned to be a reality.


PP: What’s one mistake you made, and what did you learn from it?


SW: My first job out of college, I worked as a derivatives accountant for a commodities company. At the time, being hired right out of college for such a role was uncommon. One of my responsibilities was to review all positions monthly and make sure that the expiry month positions were flat. After 11 months on the job, I noticed in my analysis that our crude oil position was not flat for the following expiry month. I sent over the information to our risk control team via email and assumed the ball was no longer in my court. I did not follow up, nor did I speak to anyone about it face to face. The following month, my manager informed me that the traders were not made aware of the issue and they did not flatten the position.


This means that the company was now going to have to deliver physical crude oil that we did not have possession of.  The dollar loss impact was rather small, but the lesson was massive. I made more than one mistake in this situation: One was sending only an email for an important issue and not walking over to discuss in person. The second was not following up on the issue and instead, assuming that someone else was handling it, transferring accountability.


I knew that many of these individuals discounted my work because of my lack of experience, which led me to not follow up or press the position further than a simple email. Now, I no longer focus on the lack of experience I have, but rather the knowledge I gain. I make it a point to understand the business implications and press forward with those that will be impactful. Finally, if I find what appears to be an issue, I take accountability for resolving it.


PP: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you and why?


SW: My “gritty” role model would be my father. His goal was to provide a better life for his family in the United States. He left behind a prestigious engineering job to make that a reality. At the time, he was told he couldn’t work as an engineer in the U.S. until he took some transfer credit hours, but he had a family to support, so he took any job that he could find. As you can imagine, that is a very humbling experience. To cover just the essentials, he worked two jobs up until I graduated from college. He would come home from his day job, help me with math and science homework, and then go straight to his night job.  He appreciated the opportunity for the American dream and work as hard as he needed to achieve it. Failure was not an option, and his drive never wavered. To me, he is the epitome of grit.

Halliburton, a valued Pink Petro community sponsor and corporate member, is publishing a series of videos across social media as part of a campaign to highlight the impressive women in it's ranks. 


This week, we meet Julie Foster, a technical sales adviser at Halliburton. Julie majored in engineering and geosystems at the University of Texas and started with Halliburton right out of college as a field engineer. Now, her role as a technical sales adviser keeps her working on production enhancement. Her advice to young women is to dare to venture outside your comfort zone. ”I think it’s important for women to choose engineering as a career because women make great leaders,” she says.



For more on how you can join Halliburton, search available jobs at Experience Energy

KPMG Global Energy ConferenceThis week, Pink Petro is heading to KPMG’s Global Energy Conference in Houston.


KPMG is of course one of our valued sponsors, but they also put on one incredible conference.


We’ve already told you a bit about what you can expect from one of two powerhouse keynote speakers. Soledad O’Brien, the award-winning journalist turned entrepreneur, will be speaking on Wednesday at 1 p.m., in an address titled “The Next Big News Story.” (You can read more about Soledad and her thoughts on diversity here.)


On Thursday, June 7, George Mitchell, the former U.S. Senate majority leader, will deliver the second keynote address at 12:45 p.m.


We've outlined some other highlights below. Can't attend in person? You can watch online via livestream at this link. So tune in, no matter where you might be!


  • KPMG will kick off the event with the Women in Energy Executive Breakfast, which will delve into using the #MeToo era as a catalyst for creating a safer workplace environment. Angie Gildea, principal and Americas oil and gas co-leader for the KPMG in the U.S., will moderate the panel discussion, which will feature leaders from Catalyst, Schlumberger Limited and Vinson & Elkins LLP. — 7 a.m. on June 6


  • Regina Mayor, global sector head and the U.S. national sector leader of energy and natural resources at KPMG, will lead the next panel discussion focused on energy’s role in the global economy. Joining her on the panel is Constance Hunter, KPMG’s chief economist. — 9:20 a.m. on June 6


  • Vicky Parker, a strategy partner for KPMG in the U.K., will lead a discussion on the energy transition, talking about how fossil fuel companies transform in the “peak demand” scenario. Panelists include Elizabeth Killinger, EVP and president of NRG Retail, and Anne McEntee, CEO of Renewable Energy Services for GE Renewable Energy. — 2:15 p.m. on June 6


  • Lynne Lancaster, generational expert and co-founder of BridgeWorks, will talk about solving the multigenerational workforce puzzle. — 3:45 p.m. on June 6


  • Cassandra Hogan, national sector leader for power and utilities for KPMG Australia, will lead a conversation about the digital transformation — specifically, how the next generation digital revolution will reshape the energy industry. — 11 a.m. on June 7


We’ll be there, enjoying as much as we can and sharing our experiences on social media. Make sure you follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Sara OrtweinThis week in our series Profiles in GRIT, we introduce you to Sara Ortwein. Sara is the president of XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil. XTO is a leading oil and natural gas producer in North America with expertise in developing tight gas, shale gas and unconventional oil resources. The company manages 11 million acres with total resources of about 139 trillion cubic feet.


In addition to her role as president at XTO, Sara is a member of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas. She is on the board of directors for the National Cowgirl Museum and is an active alum of the University of Texas.


We recognized Sara at our first-ever GRIT awards, and now we are pleased to share more of her story with you. (Know someone like Sara? Nominations are now open for our second class of GRIT Award winners. Submit one today!)


Pink Petro: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?

SO: One of my greatest challenges is recognizing that, at the end of the day, the buck stops here. Part of my job is knowing when to move beyond discussion to make the difficult decisions. 


As a leader, you learn you are not going to make everyone happy. So, you must focus on what is best for the organization. I’ve learned to manage the delicate balance of creating an open, collaborative team environment, taking feedback and pulling everything together to set a direction for the organization.  Then, I work with the organization to drive the commitment to deliver results and alignment.


PP: What’s one mistake you made, and what did you learn from it?

SO: In my first supervisor role with ExxonMobil, I was managing a team of people who had far more experience than I did.  I spent most of my first year in that role struggling to figure out how I could add value. But then I came to realize that it wasn’t my job to know more than the people around me — it was my job to enable them to apply their strengths to whatever challenges and opportunities we faced. Now, as president, I know I’m not here to have all the answers. I’m here to find and develop the right people and allow them to use their capabilities to move us forward.


PP: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career?

SO:  I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to work with some of the most talented and brightest people in the industry. What’s most rewarding for me as a leader is seeing those people strive for greatness and providing them the resources they need to succeed in their careers. 


PP: Who’s been a “gritty” role model for you, and why?

SO: Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work with a manager who encouraged me to guide my career proactively.  I had been successful to that point, but his guidance and my reaction to it has clearly impacted my career.  He also showed me the value of staying in roles longer, learning the business and having a quantifiable impact on the people around me, versus moving swiftly upward from opportunity to opportunity.  He asked me at one point, “Would you rather move up quickly or be a person that others think of when they put a team together because they know you will make an impact?” I want to be the latter. 


In the early 2000s, I was fortunate to work for a senior executive who became both a mentor and a friend. The oil and gas industry is often seen as a male-dominated field, but he believed that recruiting, retaining and developing top female talent was a business imperative. And he invested his time and energy to ensure we made progress in this area.  He also took interest in my development and helped me to recognize the business value I could bring by being a role model for others.

Peter CellaAs I embark on my journey to find executive excellence, I have been picking the brains of those trailblazers who can lend insight into how I might best develop my business acumen, in hopes of shattering the glass ceiling and finding my spot at the executive table. I am inviting you to follow along on my journey with the hopes that this may ignite a passion in other females in the energy industry to join me in chasing this dream.


For those who have read my initial Pink Petro blog, Advice for Young Professionals Seeking a Seat on a Non-Profit Board, you are familiar with my journey. After spending over a decade dedicating many of my waking hours to becoming a technical expert in the world of fracturing and acidizing, I have now turned my focus on enhancing my executive presence. In this article, I have sought advice about how to gain membership on a for-profit board.


Last month, I had the privilege of sitting down with Peter Cella, the former CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical, one of the world’s top producers of ethylene and polyethylene and a leading supplier of aromatics, styrenics and specialty chemicals. Pete is now serving as a non-executive board member for Saudi Aramco, Inter Pipeline and ServiceMaster.


Before we dive into the conversation I had with Pete, I want to share how the opportunity to have this discussion came about. 


I asked.


It is as simple as that. I asked Pete to give me advice and recommendations on how females can better prepare themselves for seats on for-profit boards. Guess what? He said yes. I then found myself inviting Pete to coffee. Having an understanding of the entire energy value chain helped in our conversation. I put a little skin in the game over the past year and took the online Rice University course, Leadership and Decision Making in the Energy Industry. I also participated in the Rice Engineering & Construction Round Table Forum, a group that addresses different parts of the energy value chain at a monthly forum. These apertures into the industry provided me with fantastic tools to allow me to grasp the energy value chain in its entirety, particularly as it pertains to the petrochemical industry.


Although I am a chemical engineer by training and experience, I really lacked a firm grasp on the petrochemical industry until I participated in these venues.


Dare I say that most folks are unaware to what is happening on the Gulf Coast? There are large investments being made in the U.S. petrochemical industry, particularly in ethylene and polyethylene plants, which is in large part due to the low cost of natural gas and natural gas liquids. Who is investing in such infrastructure along the U.S. Gulf Coast of Mexico? Among others, Saudi Aramco and SABIC. Therefore, Pete Cella's close ties to the petrochemical industry, it makes sense that he was selected as a non-executive board member for Saudi Aramco.


Pete holds a degree in finance from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Northwestern University. He started his career working for Amoco, as a financial analyst. He would spend 17 years working in various business management positions before the merger of equals between Amoco and BP in 1999. 


Pete stayed with BP for six years, which included a position as the business unit leader for Global Olefin Specialties & Derivatives in Chicago. He then joined the executive team at Innovene, which was a $20 billion chemicals & refining company that was formed to be sold by BP through an initial public offering (IPO) of shares. Pete helped lead the efforts to file an S-1 prospectus for the planned IPO before the company was sold to INEOS.  He would then spend the next four months as the CEO of the Nitriles business at INEOS. Pete then joined BASF as the senior vice president – petrochemicals in North America, before being recruited by search firm Russell Reynolds for the position of CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company.


Pete gave me three pieces of advice at this point in our conversation:


  • Never turn down a call when someone comes to you with an opportunity. 
  • If you are approached for recommendations, they are interested in you and how you can fulfill a need.
  • Get to know the executive search firms so that they are familiar with your resume when opportunities arise.


In the six and a half years Pete spent serving as the CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, he focused on delivering three things:


  • Growth with the development of new ethylene and polyethylene capacity in Baytown and Old Ocean, Texas.
  • Talent development and succession planning
  • Environmental, health and safety excellence.


While Pete served as CEO, he worked hard to improve and achieve a safer work environment for all under the Chevron Phillips Chemical umbrella.


Before Pete and I addressed his advice regarding board membership, we spoke about development plans in some of the companies he worked for. In most of the firms, individuals with high upward potential were identified about one decade into their career and placed into an accelerated development program to help fulfill their potential. Such a program typically included a development plan that ensured the optimal mix of personal and professional experiences to test the identified potential and help prepare the individual for executive responsibilities. In some firms, individuals may not even know they have been selected to be groomed for movement up the ladder. However, Pete believes it is important to let that individual know that they are on an accelerated path.


There are several ways that candidates for executive development may see themselves vetted and groomed. While functioning as a subject-matter expert in one area, they may be taken out of their comfort zone and asked to lead a team in another area to glean how they adapt to change and challenge. Seeking international experience is crucial. It is vital for an individual to understand and be able to work across cultures as more firms become multinational. Not all who are targeted to rise up the corporate structure end up making it, but the invaluable relationships built along the way give worth to the endeavor, regardless of the ultimate outcome. A key takeaway from Pete is that during an interview, board members are assessed for how well they may work with others and build relationships.


Finally, we turned our conversation to advice on attaining board membership. I have bulleted my takeaways below.


  • One cannot apply for a board position. You are invited to the process by the nominating committee. For the Saudi Aramco IPO board, Pete was approached by search firm Spencer Stuart.
  • An individual is often invited to a board because they are filling a gap of expertise desired on the board. In Pete’s case with Saudi Aramco, he was filling a gap for the desired expertise of petrochemicals because of Saudi Aramco’s strategy to significantly grow its petrochemicals business.
  • Boards have key positions that require a skillset such as governance (lawyers), audit (finance, former CFO/CPA), compensation (HR), etc.
  • If you are an engineer like myself with a desire to one day sit on a for-profit board, his advice was to either become an expert in what you do in hopes that that expertise will be needed, or seek to become a generalist where you understand multiple aspects of building a successful enterprise, such as supply chain, sales/marketing, operations/manufacturing, HR/talent management, finance and IT.
  • Reserve a section on your resume dedicated to board experience. Even if you are not on a board you can capture your board engagement as you progress through your career.


I recommend that when you get the chance, ask the CEO of a company for their resume. This is probably one of the best tools one could ask for to learn how to emulate the experience necessary for executive experience.


Next, stay tuned for my upcoming article on an interview I did with Dawn Metcalfe, the author of Hard Talk, and Samuel Passow and Susanna Deverelle, both from the UK-based Negotiation Lab.

Amanda Barlow

Faces of Energy

Posted by Amanda Barlow Jun 4, 2018

Who are the Faces of Energy?

Who would know…we’ve never been allowed to show them.


The only time the industry is ever in the media spotlight is when disasters occur. No wonder the public has such a bad view of us. But why should all the passionate workers be tarred with the same brush as the operating company executives who historically have maintained a cloak and dagger facade of the workplace? A workplace that’s home for half the year, year after year, of fathers, sons, husbands, wives, mothers, sisters and brothers...real people, with real families, working in close-knit teams all around the world.


For too long the oil and gas industry has hidden behind a cloak of secrecy that only acts to perpetuate the dark public image it’s historically had.


What the industry fails to do

is highlight the individual people who make this industry what it is today…a high-tech, fast-paced, innovative and exciting place to work.



Using the power of social media to improve the public’s perception of the oil and gas industry


Allow photos in the workplace?? Let the outside world in on what it is we actually do on an offshore oil rig?? Surely not! Some companies even have strict terms in their employee contracts that state they are NOT allowed to take photos in the workplace. What sort of companies are so restrictive that they prohibit workers from showing pride in the work that they do and wanting to share it with family and friends?


When LinkedIn started with videos, Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn CEO) started a challenge for LinkedIn employees to post a video of themselves. He knew that bringing a personal face to the company would make the public feel like they could trust the online platform with their business. I loved it. It showed people who look just like you and me, ordinary people, showing pride in their workplace and the platform through which they are helping to link people’s professional networks. And the best part was that they were all showcasing something about their personal lives, not what they do at work. It was a chance to show the world their interests and passions outside of work; traits and interests that exhibited their core values.


Even the Prime Minister of Australia is now posting selfies on social media, for the same reason the O&G industry should be doing it... to show the human side of his “industry”. We can’t underestimate the effect happy faces can have on public opinion.


We need to start finding ways to embrace the power of social media instead of fearing it. It’s here to stay and like every other industry we need to embrace it for the powerful medium it is.


How refreshing would it be if our industry gave us that opportunity? The opportunity to share a selfie on the helideck of the facility we work on, or any other intrinsically safe location of a facility, with no fear of repercussions.


Why can’t serious work also be fun?


While preparing to depart an offshore rig for shore leave one day, I joined some of the people I had been working closely with on the project for a photo under the helideck. Most were local Myanmarese nationals and they were childishly excited about having their photo taken with the Australian wellsite geologist.


But it was more than that. I was also proud to be a part of their photo…a photo that summed up the shared knowledge, experience and passion that a diverse workforce brings to a project. It’s a photo that makes me smile every time I look at it because I remember the dedication and respect these people brought to the job I worked on. They were fun to work with. They taught me a lot about the Myanmarese culture and landscape. You don’t get that working in an office in a city. That’s what I love about working in this industry.


The excitement and pride these “locals” felt by taking this photo was priceless. Why should we be made to feel guilty about doing this?


Obviously some rules need to be followed. No filming of market-sensitive operations is a no-brainer, but why can’t workplaces have dedicated “photo friendly” locations where photos are permitted. But don’t make all the places boring. I challenge companies to come up with novel ideas for allowing their workers to show their pride in their workplace and be allowed to share it through social media outlets.


Don’t just say “NO”. This has been the directive for too long because it’s the easy way out. It’s time to show the human side of our industry. Show the incredible diversity of the workforce. No other workplace has such cultural diversity (unfortunately not gender yet) as offshore oil and gas facilities. Show the comraderie. Show off the beauty of the environment in which we work...sunsets and sunrises along ocean horizons and onshore plains.


If you are a big company, have a dedicated social media person who can organise responsible dissemination of appropriate work-related photos and videos. Encourage the workforce to show the personal, and the professional, side of the job they do. 


Run competitions for the best entries in topics of the related, career related, following procedures, best sunsets/sunrises, etc.


Like all innovative suggestions, there will always be people who will only see the downside of such an initiative. Try to think outside the box and brainstorm creative ways to make it work for your company and workplace.


The upside is:

  • Workers having a fun few seconds in their otherwise busy and often physically demanding job. This ultimately leads to a more cohesive workforce through strengthening of morale. Countless studies have shown how exceptional worker morale underpins the safety culture in any workplace.


  • Getting the message out that the O & G industry is about people, not just ugly steel structures and stock market prices.


  • The world seeing the human side of an industry that has traditionally been a closed door to the public. Being able to share their work life with family and friends makes the work-home gap seem less extreme than what it otherwise would be.


The objective is to show the world this industry can, and should be, all about the people who work in it. The industry has forced its workers to be mute for too long and it’s time to change that.


It’s time to show the world the

“Faces of Energy”


Myanmar DDKG2 Geology Team


Amanda Barlow is a wellsite geologist in the oil and gas industry and also a published author of "Offshore Oil and Gas PEOPLE - Overview of Offshore Drilling Operations"and “An Inconvenient Life – My Unconventional Career as a Wellsite Geologist”. You can connect with Amanda through the Pink Petro community and LinkedIn:


Halliburton, a valued Pink Petro community sponsor and corporate member, is publishing a series of videos across social media as part of a campaign to highlight the impressive women in it's ranks. 


This week, we meet Haley Fournier, plant manager at Halliburton’s manufacturing facility in Houston. Growing into a leader is all about being given the support and opportunity to develop and learn. In this video, Haley shares her journey to becoming a manager at Halliburton and how it’s taken her to six different continents, through multiple different roles and high-impact projects and eventually to leading an entire manufacturing plant in Houston, Texas.



For more on how you can join Halliburton, search available jobs at Experience Energy